IFC Films and Richard Linklater may well have been shooting each other nervous looks after the National Board of Review named A Most Violent Year it's best film of 2014 last week. The gritty drama starring Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain had not previously figured in discussion about potential awards winners and the bookmakers duly responded, cutting its odds of winning Best Picture at the Oscars to 20/1.

BoyhoodRichard Linklater's Boyhood remains the favorite to win Best Picture at the Oscars

However, order appears to have been responded after the New York Film Critics Online named Boyhood its movie of the year. Linklater's drama also won four prizes at the LA Film Critics Association Awards, including best director, best actress for Patricia Arquette and best editor. Arquette has now found herself in a position whereby it would be unthinkable for her to lose out on the Oscar for best supporting actress (should she be nominated in the category instead of best actress, where she would face stiffer competition in the form of Julianne Moore and Reese Witherspoon).

More: read our full review of Boyhood

The other big winners from the weekend included JK Simmons, who was handed best supporting actor by both New York online and LA critics for his incredible turn as a relentless jazz teacher in Whiplash. Bong Joon-ho's sci-fi movie Snowpiercer surprisingly won best film from the Boston Online Film Critics Association. Tilda Swinton won best supporting actress for the same movie.

WhiplashMiles Teller stars opposite JK Simmons in Whiplash

Alejandro González Iñárritu's Birdman - probably the closest rival to Boyhood for the Oscars - also picked up prizes. The black comedy starring Michael Keaton as a washed-up actor trying to mount a Broadway play, won best director, best supporting actor for Edward Norton from the Boston online critics, and best screenplay and best cast from the New York online critics.

More: A Most Violent Year wins Film of the Year - but what about the Oscars?